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Swim Meet at the Jamail Center - University of Texas
A New Experience
This past weekend, a ten year old family member competed in a State Swim meet. This event was held on the University of Texas Campus in the their Swim Center, located just off of IH35 on Martin Luther King Blvd. Hundreds of kids and parents filled the pool arena to see who could swim the fastest.
The University of Texas facility is gorgeous. The main pool is clearly visible from the bleachers where we sat. The lighting was bright and cheerful, giving the building an up-to-date and official appearance. The lighting was sufficient to take pictures without a flash!
The races were numerous. The boy and girl teams rotated heats. The races were run in age brackets. Each race was carefully timed with a Swim Official overseeing each swim lane. The audience whistles and cheers overwhelmed the large pool area.
We expected to wait until the last event to see our swimmer compete, but it was a very long wait. Thank goodness there was plenty of activity all around us. The bleacher seats were roomy and very comfortable.
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The Big Event
I have watched Olympic Swimming for years, but have never personally been to a Swim Meet. It is quite an experience. The officials ran the events quickly and efficiently. One end of the pool was set aside for the kids to wait. No parents were allowed. The kids are on their own. Behind the main pool was a warm up pool. A few minutes before competing, the coaches would herd their groups to swim in this pool to prepare them for their swim.
As far as I could tell, each child competed once. Some of the races were six laps in length. Most were for shorter lengths. Each race lasted for a short period of time. We waited almost three hours and then a minute later, it was over! Congratulations to our swimmer who swam an awesome race!
I learned a lot about swim competitions during the wait. I like to people watch and there were lots of people to watch. I noted that some of the parents had perfected the waiting process. There were computers, cameras, books, meals and anything else you could bring for personal entertainment. Our group had plenty of time to watch the events and visit. I must confess to occasional Facebook chatting and email checking.
If you have not been to the University Swim Center, schedule a time to visit. The parking garage is right across the street. Yes, you pay. On the way in, don't miss the gorgeous oak tree sprawled across the sidewalk. It has been there a very long time.